Physical Activity

Physical activity is one of the most important lifestyle factors influencing human health. Health specialists at Swiss TPH study how the physical or socio-cultural environment or parasitic infections affect the level of physical activity of children living in Switzerland and abroad. On the other hand, scientists focus on the influence of physical activity on the development of chronic or infectious disease as well as on psychosocial well-being. Important work consists in developing new assessment tools and effective intervention strategies for children and adults with or without chronic disease.

Disease, Activity and Children’s Health

The DASH-Study (Disease, Activity and Schoolchildren’s Health in Port Elizabeth, South Africa) scrutinises whether an infection with intestinal parasites seriously hampers physical fitness, cognitive performance and psychosocial health of schoolchildren in South Africa. Apart from a general assessment of communicable and non-communicable diseases, the health specialists analyse the impact of key interventions such as physical, nutritional or hygiene-related education programmes on overall child health. Over 1000 primary school-aged children from underprivileged schools near Port Elizabeth, South Africa, form part of the study. It is a joint research endeavour between the University of Basel, Swiss TPH and the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth, South Africa.

Link to Project

J+S-Panel study

‘Youth+Sports’ is a well-established, government-funded sports promotion program. It focuses on youth aged 10 to 20 and children aged 5 to 10 (Y+S kids). The effects of this Swiss wide program will be evaluated in a panel study. The theory-based evaluation will use a previously developed action model throughout the evaluation process. Currently, the study is in the initiation phase. The Swiss TPH with its sound experience in conducting cohort/panel studies will support the Swiss Federal Institute of Sport Magglingen in planning and conducting this evaluation as a study-partner.

Swiss TPH has long-lasting experience in conducting cohort studies.

To promote physical activity, reliable data are needed.

Swiss Children's Objectively Measured PHYsical activity (SOPHYA)

The SOPHYA cross-sectional study measures physical activity of children and adolescents in Switzerland and identifies the barriers that prevent children from being physically active. The study is led by the Swiss TPH and based on a collaborative partner network. Physical activity of 1320 children and adolescents aged 6 to 16 years were measured using accelerometers. Moreover, GIS data on the children’s environment, the parent’s perception of the local neighbourhood, information on socio-demographics, children’s and parental sport behaviour, children’s quality of life and the children’s health status were collected. The information is used to identify risk groups and to plan effective health interventions to enhance their level of physical activity.

Link to Project

KaziBantu - Healthy Schools for Healthy Communities